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120,000 low-income Tennesseans cross the digital divide

NASHVILLE - Comcast claims that its acclaimed Internet Essentials program, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive high-speed internet adoption program, has connected more than four million low-income Americans, about one million households, to high-speed internet service at home. According to a six-year progress report the company released, Comcast’s Internet Essentials program has helped connect 30,000 Tennessee households – or 120,000 low-income Tennesseans.

comcast kidsThe company also announced three key program enhancements:

• For the fourth time in six years, Comcast will increase the program’s Internet service speeds, this time from 10/1 Mbps to up to 15/2 Mbps. Doing so will enable more family members to connect more devices to the Internet so they can all be online simultaneously.
• To help family members connect to the Internet on the go and save money on their wireless bills, Internet Essentials customers will now enjoy 40 hours of free out of home WiFi access per month to the company’s growing network of 18 million Xfinity WiFi hotspots.
• Comcast is also expanding its pilot program for low-income senior citizens from five cities and metropolitan areas to 12.

These enhancements are being offered for no additional cost to either new or existing customers and reaffirm Comcast’s commitment to bringing the transformative power of the Internet into more low-income homes.

Internet Essentials has an integrated, wrap-around design meant to address each of the three major barriers to broadband adoption -- digital literacy, access to computer equipment, and affordable Internet service. The program is also structured as a partnership between Comcast and thousands of school districts, libraries, elected officials, and nonprofit community partners.

“The success of Comcast’s Internet Essentials program has been through the united efforts of our dedicated employees, our external advocates including business, education and non-profit partners, and the local families who recognize the importance of the internet,” said Comcast’s Regional SVP Doug Guthrie. “We’re proud of the ongoing progress of Internet Essentials and that so many Tennesseans have been able to take advantage of this program.”

Tennessee Metro Area Connections

• Memphis: 12,000 households connected
• Nashville: 11,300 households connected
• Knoxville: 4,400 households connected
• Chattanooga: 3,000 households connected

How Internet Essentials Connected 4 Million Americans

Since 2011, Comcast has invested nearly $350 million in cash and in-kind support to fund digital literacy initiatives nationally, reaching nearly 5 million people through our nonprofit community partners. Through June 2017, Comcast has:

• Dedicated more than $1.8 million in grants to create Internet Essentials Learning Zones, a network of nonprofit partners focused on enhancing public Internet access and increasing family-focused digital literacy training in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Fresno, and Seattle, among others
• Broadcast 10 million public service announcements, valued at nearly $120 million
• Provided more than 65,000 subsidized computers at less than $150 each
• Distributed nearly 55 million pieces of Internet Essentials program material
• Welcomed more than 9 million visitors to the Internet Essentials English and Spanish websites, and its Online Learning Center
• Fielded more than 5.6 million phone calls to our Internet Essentials call center
• Offered Internet Essentials in more than 55,000 schools in more than 5,000 school districts in 39 states and the District of Columbia
• Partnered with 9,000 community-based organizations, government agencies, and federal, state, and local elected officials to help address the digital divide and enhance digital literacy

Customer Statistics:
• 98 percent of families are using their Internet service for schoolwork.
• 93 percent of families feel their Internet service had a positive impact on their child’s grades.
• 62 percent feel their Internet service helped someone in the household locate or obtain employment.
• More than 90 percent of Internet Essentials customers are satisfied with the program.
• 96% of Internet Essentials customers they would recommend the program to friends and family.

Internet Essentials from Comcast is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive high-speed Internet adoption program for low-income Americans. It provides low-cost high-speed Internet service for $9.95 a month plus tax; the option to purchase an Internet-ready computer for under $150; and multiple options to access free digital literacy training in print, online and in person. For more information, or to apply for the program, visit or call 1-855-846-8376. Spanish-only speakers should call 1-855-765-6995.

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company with two primary businesses, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is one of the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet, and phone providers to residential customers under the XFINITY brand, and also provides these services to businesses. It also provides wireless and security and automation services to residential customers under the XFINITY brand. NBCUniversal operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures and Universal Parks and Resorts. Visit for more information.

Published August 24, 2017

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